Dear John: Should I trade job security for the chance of a lifetime?

I love my job as a high school English teacher, but I’ve been given an opportunity to teach abroad at an international school outside my home country. Here is the dilemma: if I go I will gain international baccalaureate training and have a chance to work with teachers from Harvard who help to create the school curriculum. Plus my daughter will be able to take the middle years programme classes. However, if I stay in my home country for just one more year, I will be able to take a year’s sabbatical with the security of having my previous job if a job abroad doesn’t work out.

So, do I go and develop my professional experience now, or do I pass up this school and hang on for one more year until I qualify for sabbatical leave and hope to find another international job as good as my current offer?

As the saying goes, ‘A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush’, but the sabbatical if guaranteed might be worth waiting for. Personally, I would go for the ‘now’ and take the risk, but much depends upon whether you are a risk taker or a comfort first person?

John Howson worked as a secondary school teacher in London for seven years before moving into teacher training and consultancy, including a brief period as a chief government advisor. John is now a recruitment analyst, visiting professor of education at Oxford Brookes University and hosts our Career Clinic where you can post questions to him.

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